[Void Galaxia] Chapter 5: Dragon Centre

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I stood with one elbow on the counter, next to a completely incongruous rolled-up stack of fiberglass, staring at the game posters on the nearby wall.

      Robot Diablo [Argentinian]

      Le Regle De La Jeu Medieval [French]

      Harem Survival 4 [Iranian-Guangdong collab, ridiculously popular]

      Kokoro no iron [One of ours]

      The last one had the best art, a pretty realistic image of a heart being crushed by a giant metal claw, but the concept…still generic. Young teens, robots suits, battles spilling over into high school girl changing rooms.

      I heard a noise from the door and looked over, but it was something happening in the corridor outside.

      Quick check on the back room doorway.

      No Yosh shape.

      Back to the posters.

      Ah, Harem Survival 4…the one that finally took the subtlety away…played by gamers with absolutely no sense of shame…

      Another noise from the corridor, followed by a rough shout of NOT THAT WAY, YOU SPOON.

      I tried looking out through the window, but there was too much promo stuff blocking the view. Just a head or two bobbing past.

      It was weird, the centre was fairly active, but none of it seemed to be spilling over into Yosh’s place. Like someone had drawn a magic circle in invisible chalk. There were one or two kids slumped on the VR dentist chairs in the corner, but compared to normal, the place was practically derelict.

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Black Candles // Karina Bush

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She watches from the incest pit gold cigarettes.

She is fractured in the head.

She fingers her fractured head. 

Pearls after pearls after pearls.

Flowers flying from the incest pit.

All tender in the pearly orphic dream.

She masturbates the goat.

The goat loves it he fills her cup.

She drinks the sperm of the beast.

The sperm glistens her insides.

Slips through the cell doors into her empty space.

She is part of the fleshy universe.

She had repressed this dream.

The feeding dream.

The non-ordinary state.

She has pregnant tits to rage suck.

She fucks the air fucks the world.

The skin is all that exists.

She anoints her in Latin.

In the stable where Gods are born.

She fucks the goat in Latin.

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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 4: Hiding Out In Moon Factory 7

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…dimmest court room I’d ever seen, darker than Tento’s Horror Dome, with Yaphet Kotto ordering me to the bench, without my lawyer, and before I knew it I was over there, staring up at him god-size above, blank-eyed, facially retrograde, listening as the alien-hassler recycled for the seventh time that I was guilty, amoral, hangable, and what did I have to say about that?

‘Still not true.’

‘Insufficient.’

‘I didn’t do anything.’

‘Precisely. You failed to help him.’

‘What? The noodles.’

‘Not good enough.’

‘But…’

‘Where’s your conscience, Keni?’

‘Who?’

‘You’re guilty.’

‘No…’

‘You truly are.’

‘I’m not.’

‘Don’t obfuscate.’

‘Ob what?’

Something at the back of the court started emitting beeping noises and my hand moved vaguely towards it.

Another few beeps and it stopped.

Kotto stared at me [and my hand] as if I were a necromancer then asked for an explanation of my actions that night. Stalling for time, I looked at the painting lurking behind, split into three panels, two men eating, something broken up in the middle, and then, accompanied by sudden industrial wires sprouting from the ceiling, the electronic screech from Tetsuo on the court speakers, my mouth opened and a new line crept out. ‘He wasn’t a man. At all.’

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[Destiny] Chapter 43: Ritualism For Old Time’s Sake

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With a bunch of drunk Portuguese guests screeching I’m not Spanish as a backdrop,

Sila sat down at the coffee-stained table

in the hostel kitchen

rubbed at the arm that he’d slept on funny the night before

and tried to read the Chinese on the carton with a substandard lemon pic. One word, lemon, obviously, but the rest of it

no idea

and even when Joanna intercepted his brainwaves and said no sugar lemon tea, there was no flinch or tut or bite back in raw Slovene, just a concentrated shift to the stairs leading down to the hostel entrance.

‘Staring will definitely make it happen,’ said Joanna, sucking the carton into disrepair then throwing the remains towards the bin [and missing]. Irritated, she got up and corrected the mistake, saying no to the Portuguese guy trying to hand her a tambourine.

On the couches, in the adjoining communal zone, the rest of the drunks stopped singing. For four seconds. Then started up with a new song, this one in more advanced Portuguese.

Joanna gave it one line before muttering, ‘vai, vai, vai, vai, vai, vai,’ and heading back to her seat.

Sila was still stuck on the stairs, mesmerised.

‘You need a telescope?’ she tried, unsure of her own line.

No response.

‘Okay. No telescope.’

Eyes half hazed, she turned and stared at the Santa Sangre poster on the wall for a good seven minutes, mind shifting in soft moves between the film and the director, the setting and a flight back home, family and insanity, a cartoon duck she used to find funny when she was small, that same duck with blood on its beak as a tiny blonde girl bit a human finger off, smiling, in a simulacrum of an adoption office, which in her logical mind she knew was just the façade of immigration.

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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 3: Ghost Park Ghost

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Turning another corner, I saw Ghost Park across the road and set course. The two teens from Saizeriya were there, drinking mega cans of Asahi, smoking with poor technique, their arms hanging off the swing chains like monkeys.

      I strolled over and sat down on the adjacent set of swings. One of the chains was hanging down lower than the other, but that was normal. As was the graffiti scrawled on the padded ground claiming, NO KIDS ALLOWED. Ha, it was true, the only kids who came here were the ones too young to patch in to Kanto Land…or those slippers-outdoors types, struck with luddite parents pining for the old days.

      Pushing off the ground, I let myself swing lopsided, eyes switching back to the two clowns.

      The taller kid, the sugar tin-throwing perv, had finished his can and was now crushing it awkwardly with his right hand. Mumbling something, the other kid swatted it onto the ground, gave a quick stamp, then kicked the remains at the slide opposite.

      ‘Way off,’ the taller one yelled back.

      ‘You didn’t fucking crush it right, kasu.’

      I pulled up the sleeve of my shirt and stared at them. Neither one of them had the balls to stare back.

      Fucking kids, always loud, always cans.

      They talked some more. About Ikebukuro and the things they were doing there. Or the things other people they kinda knew were doing there.

      Liars. Story-tellers. You wanna know about Ikebukuro, take a seat…take a swing, I’ll tell you.

      But what was the point?

      Fucking kids.

      Fucking Tsunashima.

      I turned away and pushed off from the ground, going back to Alien. That scene, Yaphet Kotto and the alien.

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Stalker // R.G. Vasicek

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Blades of iron grass. Crimson rust. I look at my hands. My boots. I am a human being. Trudge further into the Zone. Speak only Truth here. Otherwise, silence. I am a writer. Every writer must navigate the Zone. Notebook. Ink. A rucksack of metal screws. Are you afraid of existence? The limit. The infinite. There is more here than any human being can possibly imagine. I rummage through a warehouse. The ruins of a factory. Temporal objects are everywhere. An adjustable wrench. A screwdriver. Sheetmetal. An acetylene torch. Railroad tracks end at a stagnant pool of water. I say things in my head. And I cannot hear them. And I can hear them. Atomic facts. Thinkable facts. Everywhere the echo. The breeze picks up. In my left eyeball I see floaters. Black spiderwebs. Time fits together like steel pipes. Time=pressure. I feel a presence here. A negative space. Shadow of a shadow of a shadow. Yes. We are getting somewhere. Inching towards a future. I play the language-game. I am a jellyfish in the sea. I am a dragonfly. A nervous system. Stimuli. I shoulder my rucksack. I throw a metal screw. Trudge further.

Am I capable of a significant utterance? Can I speak?

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R.G. Vasicek is a lo-fi novelist in NYC. Books include The Defectors, Cyborg, Machine, & the anti-novella Jörgensen and the Machine. His microflick MACHINE premiered at the XIII Prague Microfestival 2021. Czech out www.rgvasicek.com for more info.

[Void Galaxia] Chapter 2: Annoyed In Saizeriya

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      Some questions for you, Tsukubashi-San:

  • Why did the Ondōans appear to you?
  • Why did they bring you back?
  • Is the wormhole still there?

      I stopped.

      Is the wormhole still there?

      It was a petulant question. And a non-catcher. I mean, who would know otherwise? The Russians? They never said anything.

      The Chinese?

      A kid ran past, patch hanging drunk from his temple, howling at something. I turned to the other side, facing the calmer drones.

      The Chinese…yeah, they’d be out there soon, they’d tell. Unless they decided to pivot to Mars…nestle in with the adventurists, set up their own farms, their own lithium mines, overworked YA-BOTs…

      Or maybe further…Ceres, the Jovian Belt…Planet X…

      Two tables down, the waitress appeared, struggling with two bowls of imitation shark fin soup. Hadn’t really noticed when I came in, but she looked quite pretty in those green and white stripes. Small circle lips, nice eyes, real eyebrows, none of that pencil-liner shit.

      I watched with my Tsukubashi questions in the foreground as she put the bowls down and said something to the two teens opposite. Both were zonked out, pupils Jupiter-size, though one did muster enough awareness to lean forward an inch and peek down her shirt.

      Sneaky little perv. Delusional too. Clown looked like he was still in Form Five. And the waitress…had to be at least two years out of high school. No way she’d be interested, unless she wanted to spend all her free time watching him sit on a plaza couch…glazed-over junk look in his eyes. And not even a plaza, more like one of the smoky places, or a youth group server…or even here in Saizeriya, her own fucking work place.

      Nah, what she needed was someone older, brighter, someone who could at least take her to a barr without getting ID’d. Fuck her without leaking beforehand. Impress her with unni stories. Defend her against pervs looking down her work shirt.

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[De-Con-Struc] FrankenCop // Tyson Bley

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This is not a review but my method of reading experimental work, which is, in basic form:

Examine context/premise.

Go through the text and see what flows and what jars, which lines spark some kind of reaction.

Try to pull out the allusions, intended by the author or invented by myself.

Head off on tangents.

Speculate what the meaning might be.

Stop about thirty pages into the text to avoid spoilers.

I am not an expert, or an academic, or even anchored in reality half the time, so a lot of this could be way off.

But could also be way on too.

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Book: FrankenCop

Author: Tyson Bley

Publisher: Schism Press

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[Background/context]

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I’ve read a lot of Tyson’s poems and sent zines to post offices in Germany that may or may not have existed and listened to his song Gertrude’s Knees, so I usually know what I’m in for.

Body horror

Machinery gone wrong [or right, depending on your views]

Extreme juxtaposition of cultural references with anything conceivable

A bizarro, unforced sense of humour

Dada-style off-lyricism [or maybe zaum]

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[Destiny] Chapter 42: Slow Acid Franco

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A week of liberation, thought Joanna

should’ve started with hostel sex, followed by a bus ride to Lisboa, a proper attempt to put distance between them and what Sila the night before had referred to as their miracle daughter, not a Mandarin lesson with a local who couldn’t even say I.

‘War…’

‘Try again.’

‘War…’

‘Wrong. Again.’

‘Waaaarrr…’

‘Wrong.’

‘Wah.’

‘Okay, stop.’

On the neighbouring table, Sila may as well have been pool-side in the Maldives, or castle-deep in Brasov, with his student asking in pristine English if Slovene politics were as erratic as in Spain and then swerving into a rant on the legacy of Franco,

complete comfort

though looking at his face it was pretty clear he was mentally back at Mate De Neptuno, tugging on his miracle daughter’s sleeve, trying to tempt her back with promises of improved Danish and terrible people to bite chunks out of.

‘We shouldn’t go back tonight,’ Joanna said after both students had left, one beaming, the other still muttering waaar. ‘Give her a chance to miss us.’

‘Or forget us.’

‘Either way, it’s a good test.’

Sila put the Japanese mythology material he’d just used back in his bag and replaced it with a LEARN DANISH IN 27 MINUTES book, opening to a random page and mispronouncing the word for abstract.

‘So we’re not going?’

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[Void Galaxia] Chapter 1: Bacon Face Xopop

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Bullet hole seven inch Mostar wretch in fatigues call

warlord to public face uncle if fond of shoulder issue symptom bigger than other symptom cover up with moon base tech walk in slumped no lean on L’Avenir grin

point to VR stub claim association why zaum so zaum really grammar is syntax or opposite check data base with own eyes no not old form later when needed if loaded Khleb who Russian again in transit don’t you have a cocktail to spike

                                                                                                ya but

         not violent like the plumes yesterdirge what nitrogen

thought it was hydrogen forgot          

                                                                            two-thirds citrine max, scary should’ve worn bigger jacket

                               fuck in Bosnian dark forest that one sorry Bosniak

same tree cleaner sacrifice serious

                                              not now I’m

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Belgrade, Near Future

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‘Killed my family.’

Not strong enough.

‘Murdered them…my whole family.’

Weird. Off-tone at the end.

‘You…murdered…my Bosniak family.’

Slow. Too theatrical. Too family.

‘Murdered all of them. You.’

Better.

Scaling Keith David standard.

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